during the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on January 25, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio.
during the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on January 25, 2015 in Columbus, Ohio.

While all the All-Star ratings focus has been on the Pro Bowl’s dip in viewership this year, similar issues plaguing the NHL All-Star Game shouldn’t be ignored.  The NHL’s exhibition took place at a weird timeslot on a late Sunday afternoon at 5 PM on NBCSN (presumably so it didn’t have to compete with the Pro Bowl).

The “game,” if you can call it that, was a little more than a skills competition with the intensity so thick you could cut it with a plastic spork.  I’ve seen more strain and energy exerted ordering off the drive-thru menu at Taco Bell.  And even though it was the highest scoring ASG in history (Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12 for those of you scoring at home), the goals didn’t equal viewers.

The NHL All-Star Game was down 14% from the last contest in 2012 (the NHL missed two years thanks to the lockout and Winter Olympics) and scored just 1.19 million viewers.  The skills competition and fantasy draft were down 15% and 24% respectively.  It did not stack up well against its competition.

While the All-Star weekend was a big success on the ground in Columbus, the NHL and other sports have to do something to make these games watchable on television or else they will continue to bleed viewers.

The NHL All-Star Game on Sunday was atrocious to watch.  A-tro-cious.  There’s more physical contact in your local rink’s open skate.  If what we saw on Sunday was the new standard for All-Star Games, then just cancel it.

How to fix it?  Turn the weekend into a celebration for hockey and have some fun, do all the festivities you’d like, but don’t bother playing a game that doesn’t even look like hockey because fans won’t bother watching.

H/T Puck Daddy

Comments are closed.